Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi reader, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Scientists warn Jesus' tomb is now in danger of crumbling

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
3/31/2017 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

'It doesn't belong to us, it belongs to all humanity.'

Jesus' tomb was recently reopened to the public following a lengthy restoration, but now scientists warn the sacred site may be at risk of collapse.

Will Jesus' tomb crumble due to a poor foundation?

Will Jesus' tomb crumble due to a poor foundation?

Highlights

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
3/31/2017 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Jesus, tomb, collapse


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to National Geographic, scientists believe there is a "very real risk" that Jesus' tomb rests on an extremely unstable foundation.

A team from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), which just completed the tomb's restoration, warned more work is required or the holy site can cave in on itself.


Antonia Moropoulou, NTUA's chief scientific supervisor, stated, "When it fails, the failure will not be a slow process, but catastrophic."

Ground-penetrating radar, robotic cameras and other high-tech tools were used to reveal the site, which is found within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, rests on a foundation of crumbled remnants of earlier structures and contains several tunnels and channels, further shaking the already unstable land.

Mortar for the foundation has crumbled after years of exposure to moisture and several of the 22-ton pillars holding the dome of the rotunda are barely holding up above over four feet of rubble.

Archaeologists believer about 2,000 years ago, the site was home to a limestone quarry that eventually turned into a home for tombs for the Jewish upper class. Several tombs were identified within the church grounds, including the tomb believed to belong to Jesus Christ.

Around 324 A.D., a Roman temple built on the site was destroyed by Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome. When the temple was eradicated, the tomb of Christ was discovered.

Constantine built a shrine around the tomb but it was partially destroyed by Persian invaders in the seventh century A.D. and again by the Fatimids in 1009.

Christ

Christ's tomb within The Edicule [shrine] inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Israel (Vadim Petrakov/Shutterstock).


In the mid-11th century, the church was reconstructed and a small shrine to enclose Jesus' tomb called the Eicule, Latin for "little house," was erected. It was later altered by Crusaders and restored once more in the 16th and 19th centuries, all of which made the abused foundation even less stable.

The NTU proposed a 10-months, â'Ź6 million project, which involves the removal of fractured stone pavements around the Edicule, excavating over 1,000-square-feet of floor for the installation of new sewage and rainwater drainage around the perimeter of the rotunda and the grouting of foundation rubble and degraded mortar.

They suggest a plan to keep the roughly 4 million annual visitors from interrupting the important conservation work.

Many archaeologists are eagerly discussing the necessity of an archaeological excavation during the restoration process.

Martin Biddle, who studied the history of the Edicule for nearly ten years, claimed without the excavation, it "would be an intellectual scandal, and I choose my words very carefully."

Moropoulou agrees.


The NTUA team is currently processing data collected during the previous restoration and intents to make it available to other scientists on a "Holy Sephulchre Information Platform."

"This work is a collective work," Moropoulou explained. "It doesn't belong to us, it belongs to all humanity."

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK


Comments


More Middle East

South Asia floods: 'Everything is coming to a complete standstill' Watch

Image of

Catholic Relief Services is working with local partners to provide aid amid severe flooding and landslides in parts of India, Nepal, and ... continue reading


Amid political uncertainty, Haitian bishops announce year of prayer Watch

Image of

The Catholic bishops of Haiti have announced a year of prayer and adoration for the country, which continues to face heightened tensions ... continue reading



Chile ends statute of limitations for sex crimes with underage victims Watch

Image of

Chile has removed the statute of limitation on sex crimes against children and adolescents, though the new law is not retroactive. The move ... continue reading


Ecuador march protests abortion, gay marriage Watch

Image of

Tens of thousands took to the streets of Guayaquil, Ecuador on June 22 in support of life, marriage, conscience protections, and parental ... continue reading


Kenyan court rules that rape victims have right to abortion Watch

Image of

 Kenya's High Court ruled Wednesday that rape victims whose pregnancy threatens their life or health have a right to procure abortion. ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.